Victorian small terrace mystery wood in walls


When renovating a small two up two down terrace we have noticed that lengths of wood are inserted in walls as if to be some sort of support.Ie they are laid in between brick courses but only say 2 " thick but the whole width of the brick. They dont go along the entire length of a room only part. The neighbours say they have the same thing and have no idea what they are. To make it clear they are only visible when the plaster is removed or as in most cases falls off. The wood is unfinished. They arejust over waist high in their positioning. We first thought they could be fixings for dado rail but wouldnt you normally just nail into the mortar for that? Any ideas???
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The length's of timber are used to stiffen the wall as it was being built. The lime mortar use to take about 3-4 days to go off , at waist height the wall became unstable and wobbled. so a length of timber or board was place on top of the brick work to continue laying bricks.
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Thanks for clearing up mystery all neighbours now intrigued and informed.
ANDY

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